Penumbra: Overture Image
Metascore
73

Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 211 Ratings

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  • Summary: Played from a first person viewpoint, Penumbra is very different from other adventure games. Not only is it powered by a 3D engine utilising cutting edge technology, it also has an advanced physics system which allow for a never before seen environment interaction. The player can openPlayed from a first person viewpoint, Penumbra is very different from other adventure games. Not only is it powered by a 3D engine utilising cutting edge technology, it also has an advanced physics system which allow for a never before seen environment interaction. The player can open drawers, pull levers, pick up objects and more using natural mouse movements creating a highly interactive and immersive game world. The weapon system differs from your average game; swinging a melee weapon is done using the mouse which increases the realistic feel of combat. Fighting enemies is not something best done with brute force though, in most situations fighting is a last resort and the player is often better of using his/her wits. The AI of the enemies will also do its best to hunt and scare the player. The creatures encountered can break down doors, use group co-ordination, interact with the physics and more. Penumbra: Overture keeps players on the edge as they have to explore scary and immersive environments never knowing what is behind the next corner. The world is detailed, graphical as well as a story wise making the player feel part of the world as secrets are uncovered. [Strategy First] Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. The highs definitely outweigh the lows and this game breathes new life into an old genre.
  2. 81
    Where Penumbra really wins through however is in its storytelling and puzzle solving.
  3. The only charge that can really be brought against the game lies within the the aesthetics of the environment.
  4. It’s like a movie that you can recognize as being a well-made effort, but doesn’t actually engage you all that much.
  5. If you're interested in a serious relationship with gaming rather than purely out for a good time, please do take a look at Penumbra. It does some truly clever stuff, has an effectively creepy atmosphere and there's a few signposts in it that action and adventure games alike would do well to follow.
  6. 70
    Let's just hope they fix the combat and add a bit more character development in the next episode.
  7. 50
    Penumbra: Overture hits all the old notes like the Stones on their tenth farewell tour.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 49
  2. Negative: 5 out of 49
  1. Jul 30, 2011
    10
    This game was awesome. Truly one of the best horrors out there. Great story, great gameplay, and the ending leaves you wanting to play BlackThis game was awesome. Truly one of the best horrors out there. Great story, great gameplay, and the ending leaves you wanting to play Black Plague right away. Expand
  2. CarlD
    Jul 27, 2009
    10
    I have been playing horror games, reading frightening novels and drawing some genuinely creepy stuff for many years now. For the longest I have been playing horror games, reading frightening novels and drawing some genuinely creepy stuff for many years now. For the longest time, I was convinced that nothing could ever scare me again unless it was real life or death situations. Then I played Penumbra. I'm not even halfway through the game yet and I have to say it is purely terrifying, thought provoking and a challenging-but-not-impossible puzzle adventure game. Straight up the game only has two things going against it; the step-backwards graphics and the terribly clumsy combat system. The good heavily outweighs the bad, however. The game is practically in perpetual darkness the whole time so often the low-grade graphics are hidden well, and ironically the lighting in the game is incredible. As a puzzle/adventure game, it is certainly well done. It will challenge you to think, but it won't leave you going to an online walkthrough every five minutes. The clearest advantage this game has in the puzzle department is it's excellent physics engine, the HPL. Coincidence that those are the initials of H.P Lovecraft? I think not. But let's face it, what is the real reason we all got this game? To scare ourselves silly, and that's where this game really earns it's stars and stripes. This game had me spooked from the get-go. I was already feeling somewhat reluctant leaving the boat knowing the darkness that surely awaited me and man, was I right. This game is the first to ever have me scream "HOLY SHIT" at the top of my lungs. I play this game in small doses, so for me I'm not worried by the apparent shortness of the game. Really I don't know how you could play the game through one sitting and not be a jibbering wreck by the end of it. My advice to you on Penumbra? If you're a fan of horror or even just someone looking for a game that's more an experience then it is an action-thrill-fest, then get these games. Especially with the sales that mean you can bag them both for a mere 5 or ten dollars each. At that price even if somehow you don't like it, you will have not dug yourself a financial grave. Expand
  3. Aug 26, 2014
    9
    My favorite horror game ever made.My favorite horror game ever made.
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  4. Apr 8, 2015
    8
    Penumbra Overture was one of the best things to come out of Pewdiepie. Anyhow, after saying **** like that let me go on with the review.

    So
    Penumbra Overture was one of the best things to come out of Pewdiepie. Anyhow, after saying **** like that let me go on with the review.

    So of course a lot like anyone else who knows about Frictional Games, the first one I came to now about was Amnesia: The Dark Decent. Not from pewdiepie, the obvious place to have heard about it from. I found out a bit later that they had an already other established series titled Penumbra. I bought Penumbra: Overtue a long while before I ever had the bravery to go near Amnesia, and so with it came my first ever REAL adventure into survival horror.

    The game spooked the ever loving **** out of me, but the good thing about it was, that I was actually eased into the settings of Fritcionals games by it. It was really scary yes, however, I was able to push forward almost always and never got to the point where I simply couldn't move forward from my fear. The game looks really good for what is technically a indie title, and the sound design is PERFECT for the setting, mechanical, yet some how creepy and off putting. The story is also a strong part of Overture, intentionally confusing and not completely filled in, yet enough information if given for there to be a real deep understanding of what you want to know over what is going on, and why the place you are in is in the state that it is. The game does a great job of making you feel isolated. And because of this, you really end up liking the character of Red, the only survivor down in the tunnels with you. Overall, Overture is an under appreciated game that deserves all the under rated credit that it gets. I absolutely loved it, and it only goes up from here.
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  5. Dec 13, 2012
    7
    Builds a great sense of horror through simple design choices; no weapons, complete isolation, and immersive atmosphere. A survival horror gameBuilds a great sense of horror through simple design choices; no weapons, complete isolation, and immersive atmosphere. A survival horror game that requires a lot of forethought and skill to actually survive. Very unique experience with great puzzles and a story that continues straight into the sequel, Black Plague. If you're looking for something to scare your pants off for a few evenings then this and it's sequels are worth getting. Expand
  6. Dec 2, 2012
    7
    Unlike most games out there, Penumbra: Overture isn't exactly "packed to the brim" with content, but it's still pretty damn good. I playedUnlike most games out there, Penumbra: Overture isn't exactly "packed to the brim" with content, but it's still pretty damn good. I played Amnesia: The Dark Descent before this one, and I still find Penumbra just as enjoyable. The writing is unarguably clever, and does nothing but add interest and atmosphere to the game while taking away absolutely nothing. The psychological and physical horrors in this game are well done. The graphics are a bit simplistic and lazy, but don't do any damage to the game as a whole. The puzzles are well done. Even if you're a Halo/Mass Effect/Half-Life 2 kind of player, you still might find yourself loving the Penumbra series. Expand
  7. Aug 21, 2020
    0
    Ils ont fait un effort, dis donc: un jeu d'aventure tout en 3D avec des textures et tout et tout... en vue subjective en plus ! ça se veutIls ont fait un effort, dis donc: un jeu d'aventure tout en 3D avec des textures et tout et tout... en vue subjective en plus ! ça se veut horrifique mais c'est juste chiant et tout là-dedans est si mal fait qu'on arrive pas à croire que tout soit aussi mal fait... à part les graphismes tout-à-fait potables quand même.

    Mais tout le reste... ça reste un jeu d'aventure à la mords-moi-le-noeud, scripté, dirigiste et chiant. L'interface est juste horrible et bien plus terrifiante que tout le jeu entier : une interface cauchemardesque boulottée par une bande d'incapables, oui ça fait vraiment peur...!

    Le personnage a deux de tension ou un peu moins, la moindre action est d'une pénibilité extrême ; m'est avis qu'il devrait partir en pré-pré-retraite dès maintenant parce que c'est trop pénible et lent d'ouvrir un tiroir... ou alors, il devrait arrêter le Prozac. Donc en résumé, ça m'a à moitié soûlé et à moitié endormi, car cette torpeur est contagieuse... de toute façon, j'ai pas trouvé le script suivant permettant d'avancer comme l'on décidé la bande d'incapables qui ont démoulé cet étron de jeu.

    J'ai trouvé la poubelle par contre et j'ai fait un panier avec le boîtier et le disque : du premier coup ! c'était la partie la plus amusante du jeu (avec la désinstallation).
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See all 49 User Reviews